Higher Education:

Ensuring access, participation and progression for all

Time to submit your applications


The move of this award into its second year is exciting for the sector

With its focus on a holistic and collaborative approach, the award promises much that higher education dearly needs.  At its heart, it offers support for universities to develop and improve our institutional priorities on a collaborative basis.  And this is a recognition that collaboration is needed not only across departments and in alliances between academic and professional service staff but also between students and staff as co-partners in solution-finding. Even though the sector knows that partnership working is the only way to find long-lasting and effective solutions, institutional practices often relegate it to a short-lived, agreement-getting process rather than the long-term and interactive process that the award envisages.

More than this, the award encourages us to share best practices and will be developed over time to reflect the key issues in higher education. It is all the more positive that the award involves sector representatives in its comprehensive assessment of applications.  As such it aims for an adaptive and realist approach as a way of building its ambitions into sector practice.  We shall be all the stronger for it.

The award is personally exciting for me, as a PVC responsible for education at London South Bank University (LSBU) and also someone deeply committed to providing a transformative environment for all our students.  One day I’d like to see LSBU in the list of awardees – and not only because it aligns with my own ideas, but because the process of application and assessment is one that would tell us a great deal about how our practice is perceived and where our strengths lie.  I’d encourage all higher education providers to engage with the award as a way to engage in this important area.

Professor Deborah Johnston
Chair,  Inclusive Practice Award Panel

University of West London

Inclusive Practice Award
Winner 2020-21

The University of West London (UWL) were delighted to be awarded the winners of the Aimhigher London Inclusive Practice Award.  

The application process to submit our nomination for the award was a really helpful exercise to take stock and reflect on all of the work we have done over recent years to improve both student and staff experience. It’s rare in the fast-paced jobs that we take time to reflect and appreciate how much great work you do in your own institutions and celebrate the success. It allowed us as a team to reflect and feel proud of the work we have done and acknowledge the developments in inclusive practice we have managed to achieve in recent years. We are very lucky at UWL to have really supportive senior managers that are willing to listen to new ideas and give things a go to see if we can improve the student experience. 

I personally am very lucky to have such a dedicated and skilled multi-disciplinary team who work incredibly hard supporting each other to constantly look to innovate and improve the service we provide our students and staff. There is still a long way to go and we know we can learn a lot from other institutions that are also doing amazing work innovating their service in the pursuit of truly inclusive practice.

Michael Cobden
Head of Wellbeing, University of West London